Coming Soon: A Dedicated Art Law Court

Are judges and juries best placed to decide the outcome of an art law dispute? Art market professionals do not seem to think so. Fortunately for them, from 7 June 2018, they will no longer have to worry about entrusting difficult questions regarding the authenticity of an artwork to a court of law.  A new Court of Arbitration for Art (CAA) is being launched to resolve art law disputes around the globe.

The brainchild behind the CAA is William Charron, Co-Chair of the Art Law practice at New York law firm Pryor Cashman. Charron is also an Advisory Board member of the non-profit Authentication in Art in The Hague, a group of art world professionals who seek to promote best practices in art authentication.

The AIA together with the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) decided to launch the CAA to address the challenges faced by ordinary courts of law when deciding art law cases. According to Charron, the art market ‘need not – and often does not – accept a court’s finding that a work is…authentic or fake’.

The CAA will be equipped to resolve a range of art law disputes including contract and chain of title disputes, copyright claims and of course authenticity. Proceedings can be conducted anywhere in the world and will be heard by experienced art lawyers.

The thinking with CAA is, if you have art practitioners as the deciders, they’re going to be better positioned to evaluate the evidence,” Charron explained.

Unlike conventional legal proceedings, the CAA rather than the disputing parties will appoint its own internationally recognised forensic and provenance experts to ensure neutral analysis. The tribunal will also publish its final arbitration decisions and identify the artwork in dispute to ensure the art market understands and accepts the results.

The new codified rules of the CAA are effective as of 30 April 2018.

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